Consumers know apps are insecure, but they do little to protect themselves

iPhone smartphone mobile apps

Once again, an urban myth turns out to be true. People know mobile apps can be targeted by hackers, they fear the scenario, yet they’re doing very little to protect themselves from such potential attacks.

The confirmation was released by F5 Networks, in a study into the UK’s app-centric society and consumer behaviors.

Almost three in five fear the Facebook app is a target for hackers. A quarter (23 percent) would not purchase a voice activation system such as Alexa, and more than a third (39 percent) would not purchase smart locks over fears of hacking.

Yet, this doesn’t stop them from downloading apps without checking for security measures -- a quarter of users do not check application security measures at all before downloading an app.

More than four fifths (83 percent) of UK consumers fear their financial data will be hacked, and 23 percent fear for their medical information.

Funny thing is, just seven percent see Snapchat as a target for hackers, even though this was the most popular app of 2016. A quarter (23 percent) say it is not compulsory at work to change their password on a regular basis at all.

"The growing concerns demonstrate that consumers are no longer in the dark about cyber security risks, but there is still more education needed -- it’s not uncommon for a hacker to use work and business details to gain access to financial data or for hospitals to be targeted with a ransomware attack over confiscated medical information," says Gad Elkin, security director, EMEA at F5 Networks.

"The lines between work and personal lives have become blurred and we need more robust cyber security policies to reflect that."

Published under license from, a Future plc Publication. All rights reserved.

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